The New York Islanders used the NHL’s coronavirus shutdown to recover from injuries. Now they have a chance at redemption.
There are obviously more important things than sports going on in the world right now, but the NHL’s league-wide hiatus could pay dividends for the New York Islanders. Slumping at the time of the shutdown, the Isles were given a much-needed break to rest and recuperate.
As it stands, president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said on a Wednesday conference call that the Islanders will be fully healthy by the time the 24-team playoff format rolls around. This includes Adam Pelech (Achilles), Johnny Boychuk (eye laceration), and Casey Cizikas (leg laceration).
Despite the formatting changes in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, Lamoriello is confident that the league is handling these unprecedented times as well as it can.
“In my opinion, the league and the union have done a tremendous job in coming up with the best possible scenario they could to satisfy all the individual situations of each team,” Lamoriello said per Mollie Walker of the New York Post. “I’m totally supportive of what the results were and just excited we have a template to get back, certainly knowing a lot of details have to be worked out. Until they’re done, we won’t have a full picture of everything. But we’re looking forward to getting started and playing.”
After surging to the top of the standings in October and February with a 16-game point streak, the Isles lost their mojo. Just prior to the shutdown, the Islanders were on the verge of a complete and total collapse, losing seven games in a row.
There are so many unknown variables that will factor into this summer’s playoff action and it’s impossible to predict how the Islanders will play after emerging from quarantine. But one thing is certain, they have a second chance to right the ship.